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March 18, 2024

Firearm Manufacturer Defendants File Motion for Judgement on the Pleadings in City of Gary Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Defendants in the City of Gary public nuisance lawsuits are moving to end nearly quarter of a century of legal maneuverings after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed HB 1235 into law last week. Today the defendants filed a joint motion for judgement on the pleadings with the court. Indiana’s law that reserves the right to seek legal action against the firearm industry to state authorities, instead of municipalities, went into immediate effect when it was signed March 15.

“The time has come to end this legal charade. The City of Gary has had nearly 25 years to present a case for their frivolous claims and hasn’t been able to do so. That’s because there was no substance to their outlandish claims,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel. “Indiana’s new law allows the firearm industry, the state of Indiana and the City of Gary, to end this legal fishing expedition. The defendants in this case are ready to move on and resign this case to the same category as the many others like it from that era over two decades ago. This case is, and always was, frivolous, an abuse of the legal system and a losing strategy to bypass state and federal legislatures to implement special-interest gun control policy through the courts instead of through the elected bodies that represent the will of the people.”

The City of Gary, Ind., first filed their claims in 1999, as part of a coordinated effort by 40 big city mayors who conspired together through the U.S. Conference of Mayors with lawyers from the gun control group Brady United (formerly known as the Brady Center), and trial lawyers.

All these municipal lawsuits have either been dismissed by the courts, e.g., Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Fransico, Detroit and St. Louis, or simply dropped by several cities, e.g., Boston, Cincinnati and Camden. Many of these municipal lawsuits were dismissed based on state preemption laws enacted between 1999 to 2001 and upon which H.B. 1235 is modeled. Like H.B. 1235, these laws – that have been upheld by the courts – reserve to the state the exclusive authority to sue members of the industry except that they allow for breach of warranty and related claims for firearms a political subdivision purchased.

Additionally, Congress passed in a broad bipartisan fashion, and President George W. Bush signed into law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in 2005. The PLCAA blocks lawsuits that attempt to hold firearm and ammunition industry companies liable for the criminal actions of third parties who misuse the industry’s lawful non-defective products. More specifically, this common-sense law ensures that responsible and law-abiding federally licensed manufacturers and retailers of firearms and ammunition are not unjustly blamed in federal and state civil actions for “the harm caused by those who criminally or unlawfully misuse” these products that function as designed and intended.


About NSSF
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has over 10,0000 members including manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit


NSSF Media contact:
Mark Oliva

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